- Policy Platforms
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum talked about the "opportunity to do things that are remarkable," rural sociologist Ben Winchester debunked an "inaccurate" rural narrative, and roundtable discussions delivered a wealth of ideas and strategies to revitalize western communities and economies during the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative workshop in Fargo on Oct. 1, 2019.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham praised Western Governors for not thinking of "challenges and opportunities as mutually exclusive propositions," while panelists explored how to tackle food insecurity in rural areas, the future of remote work, and the impact of cultural heritage and tourism at the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative workshop in Santa Fe on Nov. 4-5, 2019.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little welcomed the wealth of ideas being generated by the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative during his remarks. The Governor also moderated panels on rural energy and resource management. Other roundtable discussions examined ways to engage communities in the outdoor recreation industry and how to increase access to telehealth services at the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative workshop in Post Falls on Dec. 3, 2019.
Keynoter Ben Alexander emphasized strong leadership and sound process as critical elements for western rural communities to successfully diversify their economies. Panelists also discussed topics such as rural water infrastructure, trends in western agriculture, and innovative solutions for attainable housing during the virtual workshop held on March 19-20, 2020.